Violence spurs Rohingya exodus, toll surges to 400

Myanmar's army launched an offensive in Rakhine following attacks on security posts in the state. "We are deeply saddened at the loss of lives among members of the Myanmar security forces..."

Photographs from the scene showed the bodies of several small children lined up on the ground, covered with sheets.

"Nobody knew how to navigate the sea waters".

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday that more than 18,000 Rohingya people had fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar's western Rakhain state amid a fresh wave of violence in the region since August 25.

Most live in squalid and increasingly overcrowded camps in the coastal area of Cox's Bazar, and Dhaka has made clear it wants no more to come.

Eighteen bodies washed ashore in Bangladesh on Friday, according to Bangladeshi border officials, lifting the toll over the last two days to 41.

In the western state of Rackhain, in Myanmar, the Buddhist majority and the few Muslim nationalities, the Rohingya periodically have conflicts that turn into a collision.

The suffering of tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing the clashes in Myanmar's Rakhine State and subsequent army was the top issue addressed by Turkish politicians in their messages after attending prayers for Qurban Bayram (Feast of the Sacrifice), also known as Eid al-Adha.

It had directed the state governments to set up a task force at district level to identify and deport illegally- staying foreign nationals.

The United States on Thursday urged Myanmar's military to protect civilians, while Yanghee Lee, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, expressed fears that "grave violations" could take place.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government said last month it was going to expel all Rohingya, even those registered with the United Nations refugee agency, drawing criticism from aid groups and some politicians.

Bangladesh is under intense worldwide pressure to allow the fleeing Rohingya to cross into its territory, but it has pushed a number of them back, in what rights groups say is a contravention of its global obligations.

A further 20,000 Rohingya have massed along the Bangladeshi frontier, barred from entering the South Asian country, while scores of desperate people have drowned attempting to cross the Naf, a border river, in makeshift boats.

"The situation is very terrifying, houses are burning, all the people ran away from their homes, parents and children were divided, some were lost, some are dead", Abdullah, 25, a Rohingya from Mee Chaung Zay village in Buthidaung region told Reuters by telephone, struggling to hold back his tears.

Main Uddin, a government official in Cox's Bazar, said the survivors reported that about 86 Hindus had been killed by armed groups in three villages since August 25.

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